as Lent was drawing to a close, i started to think about our Easter celebrations…planning menus (lamb grilled out in the rain with homemade pita and olives) and cleaning mostly. but then i began to think beyond the initial feast day. we could celebrate all the way through Ascension and into Pentecost. was anyone else–the homeschool mamas who i read regularly–thinking about this? we all planned our Lenten fasts diligently; plans were in place weeks before the fast began. but what about the feast?
i happened across Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda, and she was talking about the Great 50 Days. specifically she was talking about The Garden of the Good Shepherd, a sticker calendar to count the days much like an Advent calendar. now i don’t usually just buy things, especially sight unseen, but it seemed like an answer to my heart’s prayer for some way to mark these days of glory. so i ordered it! it came today and is just lovely. Tomie dePaola’s simple, evocative illustrations are just right. it also comes with a song for each week and a simple scripture and devotional reading for each day. this is an excellent resource, and i can’t wait to see how the days unfold.
i’ve also made a list (what else?!) of ideas to help me remember simple, commonplace ways to bring Easter joy into our house. i’d love to hear how you and your family are celebrating.
keep it simple
- light a candle and share a pot of tea or hot chocolate with marshmallows
- set the table with a pretty tablecloth even though it will get dirty
- put an extra dollop of sour cream on the beans and rice
- practice the pascal greeting in another language
- read just one more story
- clean up their mess
- come alongside and join the children in their work
- revel in the mess of blanket forts and art supplies and muddy shoes
- let mercy start with you. you have 50 days. make a new beginning.
- listen to music
- make music
- let music lighten the mood and ease the transitions
let joy be your strength
- collect your child with your gaze
- be fast, but never hurry (thanks, John Wooden!)
- take a nap together; cuddle
bring in the green
- sprout something
- collect fresh flowers–oh lilacs!
- tend the garden
don’t let perfectionism (fear, really) dictate what your days look like
- with abandon
- in expectation
- using the mama’s prayer calendar
remember to let the common spill into the holy
- bathtime recalls our baptism
- meals together recall the eucharist
- practice the laying on of hands with tickles, wrestling, back rubs, and hair brushing